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A power outage, a half-time guest, and Ravens win Blackout Bowl

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco celebrates after his team defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII game in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 3, 2013.


The Baltimore Ravens have won 34-31 in the strangest Super Bowl in a long time.

What will it be remembered for?

  • The power outage that stopped play for more than half an hour and led to an incredible San Francisco 49er comeback to within two points?
  • The goal-line stand by the Ravens when the 49ers bizarrely ran the same play three times in a row and could have won the game if they’d succeeded?
  • The missed holding call on the 49ers’ final down on offense that should have given them a fourth attempt to run the same play?
  • The Ravens’ fake punt that wore down the clock but seemed rather, um, undignified?
  • Or a victorious Joe Flacco, the Ravens’ quarterback, smacking the shoulder of a teammate on live television and yelling something that sort of sounds like his name followed by “awesome”?

Given all that, plus the fact that Flacco was named MVP, the correct answer is that it will be remembered as Ray Lewis's final football game, with the attention-getting linebaker retiring with a win.

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Records set

  • A Super Bowl record-tying 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Jacoby Jones to open the second half.
  • San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s 15-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter is the longest for a quarterback in a Super Bowl
  • At 4 hours, 14 minutes, it was the longest Super Bowl ever. — Associated Press, Reuters

An (almost) stunning comback: The 49ers scored 17 straight points after a 35-minute power outage and nearly pulled off a stunning comeback. Trailing 34-29, the 49ers marched down to the Ravens' seven but failed to score on four tries, surrendering the ball on downs at the five with less than two minutes remaining. Baltimore used up the clock and on fourth down, punter Sam Koch ran out of bounds in the end zone for a safety with four seconds left. — Associated Press, Reuters

Brother v. brother: The leadup to this game was all about the Harbaughs — the first time siblings had coached against each other in the championship game. In the end, it was older brother John who came out on top over Jim. After the game, John said it was hard to compete against his brother. The brothers met at midfield as the confetti rained down. "I told him I loved him," John said. "He said, 'Congratulations.'" Jim Harbaugh took the loss hard, raised several questions about calls and non-calls made by the officials, but said "We want to handle this with class and grace. — Associated Press

Meanwhile in the Toronto area: Police in Markham, Ontario, raided a Super Bowl party at a banquet hall where they believed illegal gambling was occurring. There were thousands of people there when the cops showed up.

It could only have happened in New Orleans: New Orleans, the city of Katrina and lousy infrastructure and "You're doing a  heck of a job, Brownie" would be the place most people would have put their money for a blown fuse to bring to a complete halt to weeks of hype and excitement. The most amazing thing about it was that it was taken totally in stride. Just another day in New Orleans. No one panicked; everyone remained completely calm. CBC reported that this has happened before at the SuperDome, twice during one game in 2011 alone.

The hardest part was watching the CBS commentators trying to fill the time, which stretched to over 30 minutes. They speculated which team the blackout would best serve, the consensus being that San Francisco would be able to use it to regain its poise after watching the Ravens run back the second-half kickoff for a touchdown.Meanwhile, the best line on Twitter was, "Is this the moment where Bane comes out?"

Call it the Blackout Bowl: The 47 Super Bowl now officially has a nickname: Blackout Bowl, after a power failure in the third quarter left the stadium darkened and the game delayed for more than 30 minutes. It's piling up on Twitter faster than cars and trucks on the Trans-Canada during a whiteout. Twitterites are not wrong about this – the power outage is the story of this game. As more than one person has pointed out, it's the stuff of Disney movies: A team is losing badly, a sudden power outage stops the game for 35 minutes, and the momentum inexplicably turns 180 degrees. The young quarterback on whose tattooed shoulders the hopes of a city rest suddenly starts firing darts, fumbles go his team's way, the team that was running away with it can't even score from two yards out, and by the fourth quarter the game has gone from a blowout to a squeaker. Some jokers are saying the stadium lights should be named the game's MVP.

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So, about that BlackBerry ad: Canada's beleaguered RIM launched its new BlackBerry 10 smartphone this past week and promised a big splash with an ad during the Super Bowl. That seemed like an exciting idea at the time; the next step in the comeback of Canada's tech darling, and so on. Then the ad came out. Disappointing, to say the least. When you have a new product, you want to boast about what it can do, but RIM decided to make a joke about all the things it can't do, such as turn a careening semi-trailer truck into thousands of rubber ducks. We already know what smartphones can do: They can make phone calls, search the Internet, send texts and take pictures of your supper that look like they were shot in 1931 with a powder flash. We also already knew they don't have magical powers. A better bet for RIM would have been to differentiate the new BlackBerry from the competition. Too late for that now. Next Super Bowl is a year away.

The PM was watching: Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who recently opened an official Twitter feed and spent last Monday tweeting about a day in his life, tweeted a photo of himself watching the game with four guy friends. The caption said, "I do love the CFL, but Super Bowl Sunday with friends is hard to beat." This is the new, more human Stephen Harper. Of course, in the photo he's reading e-mail on his laptop. Small steps.

Welcome to The Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime show:  A fiery Beyoncé appeared on stage behind a voice over from that talkative Gatorade commercial about giving it your all when you do the high jump, Gatorade being owned by PepsiCo. She immediately broke into an old song, Crazy in Love, which isn't a sin because that's exactly what the Rolling Stones would have done. Her outfit could be described as a leather bra and tutu combo that didn't need to fall off to feel like there'd been a malfunction.

Beyoncé, who had vowed to sing live after fessing up to lip-synching the national anthem at Barack Obama's inauguration, noticeably let her backup singers handle many of the words to her songs while she sort of talked over them, screamed a few times and said stuff like "uh huh" and "Give it up!" Reasonable advice. The singing was breathy enough at times to convince you she wasn't lip-synching, but at other moments it seemed apparent she might be, what with all the dancing she was doing while delivering perfect, rapid-fire lyrics. Too bad that's what people will be focusing on, because she's a great singer, a beautiful woman and a terrific performer.

Her much-touted Destiny's Child reunion was welcomed by the crowd, if not by her old bandmates. She made them sing her hit "All the Single Ladies," which didn't seem very collegial.

Keys a tough act to follow: Did anyone else have the sense that there was a little competitiveness in Alicia Keys when she sang a languorous version of The Star-Spangled Banner before the game? Here she was, singing what was bound to be the most-watched version of the throat-shredding song since Beyonce faked it to a pre-rerecorded version at President Barack Obama's inauguration last month. It would have been hard for Keys to nail the timing on a lip-synched version of such an off-tempo and unusual version of the American national anthem. And she looked stunning, all alone at a cream-coloured piano and wearing an eye-catching red gown. It was like she was saying, "This is the real thing, people. And it's not that hard."

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GIF in a jiff: Here's a little something about the speed of social media these days: Buzzfeed posted a GIF replay of the Ravens' long-bomb touchdown about two minutes after it happened. This is guaranteed to get a lot of retweets. Not sure whether Buzzfeed has the right to post NFL footage like that, but the point is they did it and people are already sharing it.

Super spreads: Super Bowl watchers have been posting photographs of their game-day snacks on Twitter, and this one may wind up being the GREATEST SUPER BOWL SPREAD EVER!! The person behind this other one, however, doesn't appear to be clear on the concept.

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